As part of the First Fridays series of once a month charter school tours in DC, the school year kicked off with an interactive tour of a unique charter school in Columbia Heights. Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School opened its doors in 2011, currently serving students in grades pre-K through second. The school has plans to further expand into eighth grade as well as into a bigger building.
The tour began with a discussion of the goals of Mundo Verde and the practices they currently use. Each day, the students are emerged in a curriculum system that is in both English and Spanish languages. In one particular kindergarten class full of eager 5 and 6 year olds, the onlookers got to witness a teacher who commits to never speaking English in the classroom.
As a student myself I have learned a lot about what makes a great teacher and what constitutes a poor teacher. With today’s student success being largely based on teacher evaluations, it is more crucial than ever to put quality teachers in the classroom. At Mundo Verde I saw a teacher that was dedicated to a practice of engaging students in a completely Spanish-speaking environment. It is great, and even refreshing, to see what some schools are doing in terms of immersing their students in a new language and culture from an early age.
In other classes, young students were learning about sustainability, as the charter school focuses strongly on this aspect just as much as incorporating multiple languages. Although the “environmental movement” has been ongoing for over a century, the word “sustainability only began to carry weight in the last few decades. Sustainability is “all the rage” with continuing generations and Mundo Verde shows no difference of opinion, instilling upon the students the importance of water conservation